In recent days, smog standards in Warsaw have been exceeded again. Specialists are ringing the alarm bells – running in smog is really dangerous for our health. Can the treadmill be an alternative? We checked the air quality in one of the capital fitness clubs.

Smog in Poland – a real problem

According to recent WHO reports, Poland is one of the leading countries with the worst air quality in Europe. The so-called PM10 and PM2.5 particulates affect our health in the most negative way. The first of them is harmful, among others, for the eyes and respiratory system, can cause coughing, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing. PM2.5 molecules are even more dangerous. The small size (2.5 microns) allows them to penetrate deeper into the body – they make their way from the lungs to the bloodstream, and from there to virtually all internal organs. As a result, smog in Poland contributes to 50,000 premature deaths per year, most of which are attributed to fine PM2.5 particulates.

More effort, more risk

People practicing sports outdoors are particularly vulnerable to the negative consequences of smog.

– During physical effort, we inhale much more air. Normally within an hour, about 480 litres of air flow through our lungs. During this period, this amount can grow up to 7,200-12,000 litres! As a result, during the hour of jogging in the smog, we inhale really gigantic amounts of harmful dust into the body – says Michał Bukraba, an accredited personal trainer.

There is an alternative

Therefore, if we do not want to give up running and physical activity, it is worth using special masks. It will be even safer to move to a fitness club, especially on days when we are particularly exposed to smog. However, let’s make sure that the interior of the club chosen by us is adequately ventilated.

– Taking shelter under the roof itself does not always solve the problem. Harmful substances can also be found in enclosed spaces. That’s why we should choose spacious locations with good ventilation and air circulation. – the trainer advises.

The CityFit network carried out the measurement of air quality in one of its capital clubs. The results were very good. On the day when the PM10 and PM2.5 coefficients amounted to 52.5 mg/m3 and 49.5 mg/m3 outside*, their values in the club CityFit Warsaw Rondo Wiatraczna club stopped at 6 mg/m3 and 2 mg/m3 respectively, which are considered very safe values in accordance with the European standards.

Therefore, if at this time of year you do not want to give up running, you should consider the treadmill as an alternative. Let’s make sure, however, that the club chosen by us takes care of air quality.

* The measurement was carried out on 21st December 2017.